This is one question that might sound almost weird but I’m sure most MBA applicants have thought about it. So we ask; if it important to visit your proposed school before applying for your MBA? Would there be benefits for hitting the road no matter how far it seems just to go see what the school looks like? Funny enough there are people who have done this before. Well, who would want to make to make a trip to a proposed school knowing the end might not turn out so great after all.
Does it make sense to make a not-so-inexpensive trip to the US (or Europe) to visit a number of business schools you’re targeting, without any idea of whether the trip will actually result in an admission in these schools?
Another question would be; if the same level of commitment can be communicated through the application without actually visiting the school, then isn’t the trip redundant?
Some schools allow intending applicants to book their visits and are allowed some privileges when they come around and they are all also able to interact with current students. This affords them the ability to create some form of connection with the school even before they are accepted. The candidate thus is able to walk away from the visit with the knowledge that he/she has been able to get a first-person experience of what the school and its community has to offer. He/she can then relive those experience when writing the application essays, which, he/she hopes, will only make for a more impactful application overall.
Though this does not in any way give the applicant an unfair advantage over others in the eyes of the school’s admission committee, it does however gives the applicant in question more information to write about in his/her application essay. Also, the applicant would also have to battle with other applicants who might have built something solid en route towards the major application.
Now back to our question; is it important to visit your proposed MBA School before applying? The answer is an astounding NO! There is no harm done if you cannot pay your way to a trip across the ocean. The schools won’t lower their standards for you because you visited them, chatted with the students, alumni or toured around the school.
One of the reasons why it is not important to visit the school is because most of these schools send out representatives to meet with applicants who cannot make it to the school. And these are physical events for which, members of the Admissions Committee travel all over the world to connect with applicants.
Rather than meeting current students during a school visit, applicants meet with alumni during these events held around the world. Rather than understand what students are studying now, they see what the alumni are currently doing. And in each case, they’re able to channel the passion they see in these school’s Ambassadors into their applications. With all of these localized options at their disposal, candidates who are based overseas are not at any particular disadvantage compared to the group that chooses to visit the campus. Furthermore, they’re able to get a sense of the school in as much detail as would someone visiting campus.
Also, the schools’ admission committees also organize an amazing number of online events which are done for applicants. This is done along with the physical events. When you combine both the online and physical events, you notice that the schools have been able to make themselves more accessible to applicants who would not need to spend their meager resources traveling out of the shores of their countries just to go visit their proposed MBA schools.
So, to the question again; how important is visiting your proposed school before your MBA application? The answer is; not important.
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